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Full text of "Annual report of the Policy Coordination Group for Technology Development"

-M.IVBtyk ; P f 



95th Congress 
2d Session 



JOINT COMMITTEE PBINT 



FIRST ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

POLICY COORDINATION GROUP 

FOR 

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT 
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES 




AUGUST 1, 1978 



Printed for the Use of the 

Committee on Rules and Administration 

United States Senate 

and the 

Committee on House Administration 

United States House of Representatives 




31-469 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
WASHINGTON : 1978 



COMMITTEE ON RULES AND ADMINISTRATION 
U.S. SENATE 

CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island, Chairman 
HOWARD W. CANNON, Nevada MARK O. HATFIELD, Oregon 

ROBERT C. BYRD, West Virginia ROBERT P. GRIFFIN, Michigan 

HARRISON A. WILLIAMS, Jr., New Jersey HOWARD H. BAKER, Jr., Tennessee 
DICK CLARK, Iowa 
WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky 

William McWhorter Cochrane, Staff Director 

Chester H. Smith, Chief Counsel 

Martin B. Gold, Minority Staff Director-Counsel 

John K. Swearingen, Director, Technical Services 

Jack L. Sapp, Professional Staff Member 



COMMITTEE ON HOUSE ADMINISTRATION 
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

FRANK THOMPSON, Jr., New Jersey, Chairman 
JOHN H. DENT, Pennsylvania WILLIAM L. DICKINSON, Alabama 

LUCIEN N. NEDZI, Michigan SAMUEL L. DEVINE, Ohio 

JOHN BRADEMAS, Indiana JAMES C. CLEVELAND, New Hampshire 

AUGUSTUS F. HAWKINS, California CHARLES E. WIGGINS, California 

FRANK ANNUNZIO, Illinois J. HERBERT BURKE, Florida 

JOSEPH M. GAYDOS, Pennsylvania BILL FRENZEL, Minnesota 

ED JONES, Tennessee DAVE STOCKMAN, Michigan 

ROBERT H. MOLLOHAN, West Virginia ROBERT E. BADHAM, California 

LIONEL VAN DEERLIN, California 
JOSEPH G. MINISH, New Jersey 
MENDEL J. DAVIS, South Carolina 
CHARLES ROSE, North Carolina 
JOHN L. BURTON, California 
EDWARD W. PATTISON, New York 
LEON E. PANETTA, California 
JOSEPH S. AMMERMAN, Pennsylvania 

William G. Phillips, Staff Director 

Robert E. Moss, General Counsel 

Boyd L. Alexander, Director, House Information Systems 



Policy Coobdination Group foe Technology Development 

John K. Swearingen, Director, Technical Services, U.S. Senate, Chairman 

Boyd L. Alexander, Director, House Information Systems, U.S. House of Representatives 

Robert L. Chartrand, Senior Specialist in Information Sciences, Congressional Research Service, 

Library of Congress 

(II) 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL 



The Library of Congress, 
Congressional Research Service, 

Washington, B.C., May 1, 1978. 
Hon. Claiborne Pell, 

Chairman, Committee on Rules and Administration, 
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 
Hon. Frank Thompson, Jr., 
Chairman, Committee on House Administration, 
U.S. House oj Representatives, Washington, D.C. 

Gentlemen: I am pleased to report that excellent progress has 
been made during the past year by personnel from our staffs who 
have been working together to oversee the development of technology- 
supported information systems for the Congress. This senior staff 
mechanism, called the Policy Coordination Group (PCG), has ably 
performed its multiple roles of coordinating, monitoring, and encour- 
aging the development of new procedures and techniques related to 
the use of information technology — computers, microforms, telecom- 
munications, audio and video services — which can better support the 
Members and committees of Congress. 

The attached ' 'first annual report" sets forth, for your review and 
comment, the highlights of the Policy Coordination Group activities, 
which are described within the context of the various "task forces" 
efforts. The report was prepared by Robert L. Chartrand, our Senior 
Specialist in Information Sciences, who has served for the past 12 
months as PCG chairman, and Jean Paul Emard, Analyst in Infor- 
mation Sciences with the Science Policy Research Division (CRS), 
who has performed all requisite Secretariat functions. The entire 
report was reviewed in detail by Boyd L. Alexander (House Informa- 
tion Systems) and John K. Swearingen (Senate Committee on Rules 
and Administration), the other two PCG principals. 

As the pressures of legislative responsibilities continue to increase, 
the value of this coordinating endeavor in facilitating careful planning 
and noncluplicative services grows apace. 

Your support and encouragement are deeply appreciated, and we 
welcome any of your comments regarding our efforts. 
Sincerely, 

Gilbert Gude, Director. 
(in) 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/annpo1952unit 



FOREWORD 



The application of computers to the ever-increasing workload of the 
Congress continues. Costs increase as each newly found benefit en- 
genders other uses. In order to insure that value continues to be 
received and unnecessary duplicate or counterproductive efforts are 
avoided among the Senate, House, and Library of Congress computer 
activities, Senator Cannon, Congressman Thompson, and Mr. Gude 
established the Policy Coordination Group. Over the years, numerous 
joint efforts had been undertaken on a voluntary ad hoc basis by 
technical staff who worked on similar problems. Now, senior staff of 
the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the Committee 
on House Administration, and the Congressional Research Service 
are charged with the responsibility of seeing that efforts in subjects 
of joint interest are coordinated in a cost-effective manner. 

The benefit to the Congress which is being derived from the ad hoc 
joint effort in developing the Legislative Information and Status Sys- 
tem (LEGIS) is an example of the success that we expect will accrue 
from the efforts of the Policy Coordination Group. We are pleased 
with the accomplishments reported herein and the enthusiasm of the 
task force personnel that is reflected in those reports. 

Claiborne Pell, 

Chairman, 
Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. 
Frank Thompson, Jr., 

Chairman, 
Committee on House Administration. 



(V) 



CONTENTS 



Page 

Letter of transmittal in 

Foreword v 

I. Introduction 1 

II. Task force reports 3 

Legislative Information and Status System (LEGIS) 3 

Charter statement 3 

Objectives 3 

Major activities for the reporting period 4 

Projected areas of concentration 4 

Task force starring 5 

Audio and video technology 5 

Charter statement 5 

Objectives 5 

Major activities for the reporting period 5 

Projected areas of concentration 6 

Task force staffing 7 

Microform technology 7 

Charter statement 7 

Objectives 7 

Major activities for the reporting period 8 

Projected areas of concentration 9 

Task force staffing 9 

Computer hardware and software requirements 9 

Charter statement 9 

Objectives 10 

Major activities for the reporting period 10 

Projected areas of concentration 11 

Task force staffing 12 

Orientation and training 12 

Charter statement 12 

Objectives 13 

Major activities for the reporting period 13 

Projected areas of concentration 13 

Task force staffing 14 

Word processing technology 14 

Charter statement 14 

Objectives 15 

Major activities for the reporting period 15 

Projected areas of concentration 15 

Task force staffing 16 

III. Related documentation 17 

Correspondence: 

Gilbert Gude to Senator Howard W. Cannon (dated April 

27, 1977) 17 

Gilbert Gude to Congressman Frank Thompson, Jr. (dated 

April 27, 1977) 19 

Senator Howard W. Cannon to Gilbert Gude (dated May 4, 

1977) 20 

Congressman Frank Thompson, Jr., to Gilbert Gude (dated 

May 6, 1977) 21 

Gilbert Gude to Senator Howard \V. Cannon (dated June 

21, 1977) 22 

Gilbert Gude to Congressman Frank Thompson, Jr. (dated 

June 21, 1977) 22 

Roles and Responsibilities of the Policy Coordination Group. 
(Attachment to letters from Gilbert Gude to Senator Howard 
W. Cannon and Congressman Frank Thompson, Jr., (dated 

June 21, 1977)) 23 

(VII) 



I. INTRODUCTION 

The Policy Coordination Group for Technology Development was 
established in May 1977 and is composed of one principal member and 
one alternate each from the Committee on Rules and Administration 
of the U.S. Senate, the Committee on House Administration of the 
U.S. House of Representatives, and the Congressional Research 
Service of the Library of Congress. In its first year the Policy Coordi- 
nation Group took steps to establish a working capability for the 
fulfillment of its responsibility to "coordinate the development of 
technology-supported information systems during the present and 
succeeding Congresses." The Policy Coordination Group established 
task forces for high priority areas to facilitate communication and 
coordination. Task forces are composed of staff members of the Senate 
and the House of Representatives and of congressional support 
agencies who are regularly involved in the development or use of infor- 
mation systems. The task forces which have been established are set 
forth in the organization chart included in this section. 

Task forces provide a forum for communication and for identifying 
common problems and areas where technical and data standards would 
be desirable. In some instances technical working groups have been 
established. For example, in the Task Force on Computer Hardware 
and Software Requirements one technical working group is concen- 
trating on the capabilities of congressional computer centers to provide 
backup support to each other, and another is examining computer 
communications technology. 

The task forces have functioned through: 

1. Preparing special reports such as "A Primer on Information 
Transfer: Methods, Media, and Modes" and "Legislative Use of 
Micrographics: Present and Potential ;" 

2. Arranging briefings, tours, and demonstrations to promote a 
better understanding of recent technological developments, inno- 
vative applications, and use of facilities, such as a demonstration 
of the Planning Research Corporation's "telefiche" capability, a 
tour of NASA communications control facilities, and tours of four 
legislative computer centers; 

3. Developing standard data formats for information transfer, 
such as status and content information on pending bills and reso- 
lutions. (Standards are developed in working sessions with staff 
from the legislative organizations with oversight and operational 
authority and responsibility.) ; and 

4. Examining, with contractor support, areas of prime concern, 
such as "Congressional Micrographic Applications," performed 
by Dataflow Systems, Inc. 

As a result of these activities, a better balance in the allocation of 
staff and other resources should be achievable and user needs should 
be more effectively met. It should be noted that in many areas of 
activity described in the individual task force reports, significant 
initiatives already had been undertaken by the congressional orga- 
nizations with ongoing oversight and operational authority and 
responsibilities. 

(l) 

31-469 — 78 2 



II. TASK FORCE REPORTS 

In this section information on each active task force is set forth 
under the following headings: charter statement, objectives, major 
activities for the reporting period, projected areas of concentration, 
and task force staffing. 

Legislative Information and Status System (LEGIS) 

CHARTER STATEMENT 

In order to formally include staff from the Library of Congress' 
Information Systems Office (ISO) and the Congressional Research 
Service (CRS) in the ongoing activities of the joint House/Senate 
LEGIS working group, the Policy Coordination Group established a 
LEGIS Task Force. This Task Force is comprised of representatives 
involved in policy, software development, data base maintenance, 
and user support functions within the Senate, House, and Library of 
Congress. In its charter statement, the Policy Coordination Group 
stated that the LEGIS Task Force should support and where appro- 
priate coordinate the development of a capability — by the Senate, 
House, and Congressional Research Service — to enter, edit, and vali- 
date each body's official legislative information. These data would be 
concerned with both the content and status of pending and enacted 
legislation. In addition, the Task Force was to recommend procedures 
allowing the transmission of that information over the congressional 
computer network during the same day in which pertinent legislative 
action occurs. 

OBJECTIVES 

The primary goals of this Task Force were set in Task Force meet- 
ings and working sessions. These objectives include: 

(1) Elimination of duplication in the data entry and data 
validation of status and bill identification data (e.g., bill number, 
sponsor, cosponsor, date of introduction, and official title) by the 
CRS Bill Digest Unit; 

(2) Significant improvement in the delivery of timely digests, 
revised digests, amendment digests, abstracts, and indexing terms 
from CRS to the House and Senate; 

(3) Formulation of priorities for data created by the Bill 
Digest Unit; 

(4) Development of the data specifications and formats of 
House and Senate data for delivery to the Library of Congress 
to be used in updating the Bill Digest data base and the CG95 
SCORPIO display file. This effort has included a comparison 
of Senate/House and Library "status steps" for compatibility 
and convertibility from the Senate and the House to the Library 
of Congress; 

(3) 



(5) Planning for the automated data link between the Senate 
and the Library and between the Library and the House. (House/ 
Senate data exchange has been previously agreed upon by House 
Information Systems, the Senate Committee on Rules and Ad- 
ministration, and Senate Computer Center staffs) ; and 

(6) Exploration with Library personnel (responsible for soft- 
ware development) of additional programming which would allevi- 
ate the processing time required of the House and the Senate when 
adding CRS data to their respective LEGIS data bases. 

MAJOR ACTIVITIES FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD 

All of the activities initiated and carried out by the Task Force in 
its first year were designed to speed the implementation of a Hill-wide 
LEGIS information network. The Task Force provided support or 
assisted in implementing the following activities: 

(1) Staff of the CRS Bill Digest Unit has agreed to accept 
Senate and House data both for the published Digest of Public 
General Bills and Resolutions and the Library's on-line CG95 
SCORPIO display file; 

(2) CRS has established a higher priority for preparing digests 
of measures scheduled for action or receiving action ; 

(3) A priority ranking of all Bill Digest data by the staff of the 
House, the Senate, and CRS has been completed; 

(4) Data and tape specifications were agreed upon for transfer 
of official title data to the Library from both the Senate and the 
House ; 

(5) The Senate established a courier service for tape exchange 
among the Senate, the House, and the Library; 

(6) The House and the Senate have expedited delivery of bills 
and resolutions to the CRS Bill Digest Unit through the coopera- 
tion of the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate; 

(7) At the request of the Task Force, the LC/ISO established 
a study team for determining the best way of implementing bill 
digest "transaction updates" to alleviate the House and Senate 
processing load when updating their respective data bases with 
LC data; and 

(8) At the request of the Task Force, the Senate Bill Clerk 
and the House Bill Clerk will provide the Library with a list of 
"carry-over bills" from the 95th to the 96th Congresses as part 
of the House/Senate study of cross-reference requirements and 
data sources for their respective LEGIS data bases. The CRS 
Bill Digest staff will participate in this study. 

PROJECTED AREAS OF CONCENTRATION 

Work not completed during the previous reporting period will be 
continued during 1978. 

Additional tasks arising during the course of the working group's 
activities — all of which are in support of implementing the Congres- 
sional Legislative Information System as authorized by the respective 
chairmen of the Committee on Rules and Administration and the 
Committee on House Administration — will be examined as the need 
arises. 



TASK FORCE STAFFING 

Chairman: Anthony Harvey, Senate Committee on Rules and Ad- 
ministration, 1978; James Price, Congressional Research Service, 

1977. 

Members: William Hill, House Information Systems; Terry 
Guertin, Congressional Research Service; Richard Reed, Senate 
Computer Center; Kathy Reichel, Congressional Research Service; 
Tim Cavanaugh, House Information Systems; Jeri Thomson James r 
Office of the Sergeant at Arms, U.S. Senate; Alice Tennes, Library of 
Congress/Information Systems Office; Marilyn Courtot, Office of the 
Secretary of the Senate; Patricia Dowling, House Information Sys- 
tems; John Kaldahl, Congressional Research Service; Charlene 
Woody, Library of Congress/Information Systems Office; Michael 
Fitzgerald, Library of Congress/Information Systems Office. 

Audio and Video Technology 

charter statement 

The Task Force on Audio-Video Technology is charged by the 
Policy Coordination Group with identifying the various ways in which 
both audio and video technologies can be of use to the Senators and 
Representatives in their ongoing chamber, committee, and constituent- 
oriented activities. In particular, emphasis will be placed on examining 
state-of-the-art developments and looking at how multimedia user con- 
figurations, including the use of computer-generated graphics, can 
meet the dynamic needs of the Congress. 

OBJECTIVES 

The Task Force on Audio-Video Technology has a threefold set of 
objectives: 

(1) Facilitate the integration of audio-video activities within 
and between the Senate, House, and Library of Congress; 

(2) Promote educational activities — through briefings, video 
tape presentations, etc. — and the distribution of educational 
materials on new audio-video technologies and their use in the 
information transfer process; and 

(3) Serve as a point of reference for congressional organizations 
and offices which seek information on how to produce, access, or 
disseminate audio-video materials. 

MAJOR ACTIVITIES FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD 

The congressional personnel serving on the Task Force on Audio- 
Video Technology are active through their respective organizations 
in a variety of audio/visual programs. These activities include: 

The closed circuit TV system for the House of Representatives; 
The Library of Congress American Television and Radio 
Archives (ATRA) project; 

The audio-cassette Issue Briefs of CRS; and 
The recently released House Information Systems IMAGE 
(on-line graphics) system. 



During the Task Force's first year of existence, major activities were 
concentrated in two areas: (1) coordinating on-site briefings and 
demonstrations for key Senate, House, and CRS personnel involved 
in audio-video or automated technologies ; and (2) serving in advisory 
capacities to congressional committees. 

In order to monitor state-of-the-art technological advancements in 
the audio-video field, Task Force members participated in three tours, 
with associated briefings and demonstrations, arranged by Federal 
departmental, private sector, and congressional organizations: 

(1) The Task Force toured the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration (NASA) Godclard Space Flight Center to view 
that facility's audio-video support programs; 

(2) The Task Force chairman conducted an initial visit to the 
Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., for presenta- 
tions on: a new mobile telephone concept, light wave (optical 
fiber) communication, picture phone transmission, and an ex- 
perimental "talking" computer; and 

(3) The Task Force was given a briefing on monitoring devices 
and techniques used for congressional security operations. 

In an advisory capacity, members of the Task Force participated in 
two significant projects: 

(1) Provided technical assistance to the Select Committee on 
Congressional Operations and the House Committee on Rules in 
their evaluatious of alternatives for performing televised coverage 
of House proceedings; and 

(2) Advised the Committee on House Administration regarding 
the concept design, potential vendor support, and implementation 
of a tone-and-voice paging system. 

PROJECTED AREAS OF CONCENTRATION 

One high priority item to be undertaken by the Task Force will be 
the examination of the benefits to be derived from the integration of 
cable systems in the Senate, House, and Library of Congress to dissem- 
inate audio-video information to any congressional office. As a follow-on 
project, the Task Force plans to identify visual materials which could 
be used for orientation purposes or to augment commentary on specific 
subject areas — e.g., transportation, energy, inflation — for possible 
airing on the Hill closed circuit TV system. 

Two other areas of interest will be investigated. A special Working 
Group on Visual Products, comprised of selected Task Force members, 
will define a study on how to integrate visual techniques into legislative 
activities. Also, available dial-up services providing audio-cassette 
playbacks will be examined for their potential to provide key 
information on major issues. 

The Task Force also plans to present two demonstrations of video 
information systems : 

(1) In early June, INSAC Group, Inc. of New York City, will 
conduct a series of live demonstrations on Capitol Hill of the 
British Post Office's "Viewdata" interactive information retrieval 
system. This newly developed service allows home or office users 
to access a variety of data bases using existing telephone circuits 
and specially modified TV receivers; and 



(2) The video/digital systems developed by the General Elec- 
tric Co. and utilized by the U.S. Bureau of the Census to super- 
impose politically oriented maps over satellite photographs will be 
demonstrated to interested congressional personnel. 
As an aid to their staying abreast of salient advances in various 
audio-video technologies, selected Task Force members soon will return 
to the Bell Telephone Laboratories, accompanied by senior congres- 
sional staffers concerned with the development of information services 
dependent on such technologies. 

TASK FOKCE STAFFING 

Chairman: William Hartnett, Office of the Clerk of the House, 
1977-78. 

Members: James Price, Congressional Research Service; Richard 
Maynard, House Information Systems; John Swearingen, Senate Com- 
mittee on Rules and Administration; Ray Carroll, Architect of the 
Capitol; Frank Keenan, House Select Committee on Congressional 
Operations; William Adams, House Information Systems. 

Microform Technology 

charter statement 

The Task Force on Micrographics Technology is charged with ex- 
ploring the most efficient and effective uses of microform tools and 
techniques within the congressional setting. These micrographic media 
and methods, as applied to the needs of legislative users, should include 
a capability for optimal storage, various retrieval options, and the 
transfer of selected data through the employment of latest state-of- 
the-art technologies, e.g., computer output microfilm (COM). 

OBJECTIVES 

The Task Force on Micrographics Technology has established this 
set of initial objectives: 

1. Coordinate micrographics standards — equipment, data for- 
matting, storage elements — for use by the Senate, House of 
Representatives, and all legislative support groups; 

2. Survey various congressional operations for possible micro- 
graphics applications; 

3. Review state-of-the-art micrographic technologies for poten- 
tial individual or coordinated use by Capitol Hill entities; 

4. Examine existing congressional paperform files for conversion 
to microform in order to achieve space and cost savings, and 
to enhance responsiveness to legislative clientele ; 

5. Evaluate selected commercial microform data bases for poten- 
tial congressional use; 

6. Explore the potential for COM by Members and committees; 
and 

7. Initiate orientation and training programs for Capitol Hill 
personnel in the application — showing both benefits and limita- 
tions — of micrographics. 



MAJOR ACTIVITIES FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD 

An initial undertaking of the Task Force involved a written review 
of all ongoing micrographics activities in the Senate, House of Repre- 
sentatives, and Congressional Research Service (CRS). These reports, 
prepared by cognizant personnel in each of these organizations, were 
submitted to the Task Force and compiled into one major document. 
This edited text was augmented with additional materials which in- 
cluded an historical overview of micrographics, the various types of 
microforms, a glossary of terms, and a selected reading list. After final 
editorial reviews are performed, this document will be published as a 
Policy Coordination Group publication in order to inform the Hill 
community of the present and potential legislative uses of 
micrographics. 

The Task Force, as one of its activities, analyzed the joint GAO/ 
CRS microfilming project of the General Accounting Office ''Legisla- 
tive History File." Over the years, GAO has amassed a legal infor- 
mation base consisting of some 20,000 files of laws that average 100 
pages per file. Dating back to the 65th Congress, the file also includes 
congressional documents and GAO reports. In studying this venture, 
the Task Force made a major technical recommendation: the file's 
backup material is to be filmed at 42X (reduction) — to provide bettor 
clarity and resolution — but stored in a 48X format to allow for greater 
compactness. 

The Task Force specifically addressed its goal of surveying various 
congressional operations for possible micrographics applications by 
undertaking a threefold study project. The project combined require- 
ments from the organizations represented to: (1) determine potential 
COM applications in the Senate; (2) conduct a user feasibility study 
of potential micrographics applications in the offices of Representa- 
tives; and (3) survey the potential use of CRS micrographic products 
by the two Houses. To perform these studies as comprehensively 
as possible and within the prescribed timeframe, contractor support 
was recommended by the Task Force. CRS was selected as the re- 
sponsible mechanism for contractor selection, contract administra- 
tion, and overall project coordination. A final report setting forth 
specific findings and recommendations was delivered in January (via 
CRS) to the Task Force by the contractors — Dataflow Systems, Inc. 
and Eagle and Nair. A review of the document is now in its final stage. 

In order to keep abreast of the latest developments in micrographics 
technologies, Task Force members participated in three on-site tours: 

(1) Special arrangements were made with the Planning Re- 
search Corp., for a demonstration of the company's "telefiche" 
system at its McLean, Va., facility. Telefiche is an advanced 
micrographic technology allowing transmission of microfiche 
material via digital facsimile to hard copy; 

(2) Task Force members were able to question and review 
leading micrographics manufacturers at an equipment exhibit 
sponsored by the National Micrographics Association held in 
Washington, D.C. ; and 

(3) A tour of the Photoduplication Service and the new Beta- 
COM 800 system of the Library of Congress was arranged. 



PROJECTED AREAS OF CONCENTRATION 

During the remainder of this year, the Task Force will be involved 
in a broad range of orientation activities, coordinating efforts, and 
feasibility studies focused on matching known resources with legis- 
lative user needs. Briefings and demonstrations designed to keep the 
group's membership aware of state-of-the-art developments or per- 
tinent innovative microform applications will be arranged. The first 
in this series of presentations will focus on the use of micrographics 
by the State legislatures. In addition, certain Task Force members 
will be attending the next annual meeting of the National Micro- 
graphics Association (NMA). Consisting of educational seminars, 
application areas, new technologies, and equipment demonstrations, 
this NMA gathering will provide members with some insight into 
future Task Force areas of involvement. 

Although microforms have been used for many years in the legis- 
lative arena, more staff exposure to micrographics devices and appli- 
cations is necessary. The Task Force has determined that a concerted 
effort to produce a formalized micrographics orientation and training 
program should be pursued. The possibility of initiating appropriate 
joint action with the Task Force on Orientation and Training now is 
being examined. Concurrently, efforts will be undertaken by the Task 
Force on Micrographics Technology to identify other task forces 
where the application of microforms could be a consideration. One 
such group is the Task Force on Word Processing. 

To aid those Capitol Hill staffers who are responsible for legislative 
research functions, the Task Force plans to conduct a preliminary 
sampling of existing private sector micrographic data bases. If the 
initial effort proves successful, a complete survey of microform-based 
resources will be carried out with the results annotated and catalogued. 
The Task Force members also plan to determine the utility of pilot 
projects in these areas: 

First, the commercial availability of "telefiche" this spring- 
should lead to an examination of its potential for the Congress; 
and 

Second, exploration in Word Processing Output Microfilming 
(WPOM) — generating microfiche directly from a word processing- 
tape — would be useful in considering future options for the pub- 
lication of congressional documents and correspondence. 

TASK FORCE STAFFING 

Chairman: Alan Linden, Congressional Research Service, 1977-78. 

Members: Richard Maynard, House Information Systems; Trudy 
Grieb, House Information Systems; Marilyn Courtot, Office of the 
Secretary of the Senate; Joyce Amenta, Senate Committee on Rules 
and Administration; Karl Jansson, Office of the Sergeant at Arms of 
the Senate. 

Computer Hardware and Software Requirements 

charter statement 

In the original document setting forth the roles and responsibilities 
of the task forces, the duties of the groups charged with examining 



10 

long-range hardware and software requirements were described 
separately: 

Long-range hardware requirements. — In coordination with the 
Task Force looking at long-range software requirements, to rec- 
ommend through an intensive technical design study the full 
array of equipment needs of the Congress and its supporting 
agencies. This twin-faceted plan, covering a 5-year period, wiil 
take into account projected user needs and the known potential 
of candidate hardware. 

Long-range soft/rare requirements. — This coordinated, in-parallel 
effort with the Task Force responsible for recommending long- 
range hardware requirements, also will result in the preparation 
of a detailed technical design report. With the continuing, myriad 
options available through the use of computer programs — and 
the interfaces necessary to integrate other technologies such as 
telecommunications and microform — the readying of a 5-year 
plan is a matter of high importance. 

OBJECTIVES 

The Task Force on Computer Hardware and Software Requirements 
has determined that the following items comprise its initial set of 
objectives: 

1. Define and prioritize the most critical automatic data process- 
ing (ADP) applications, both existing and projected, for each of 
the participating congressional entities; 

2. Determine which congressional computer facility will serve 
as backup site for similar operations in cases of temporary 
emergencies ; 

3. Develop a plan for offloading excess computer work from one 
installation to another; 

4. Recommend procedures for accounting and billing to appry 
during resource-sharing arrangements; 

5. Establish procedures to communicate major configuration 
changes being planned by any Capitol Hill computer facility; 

6. Develop and maintain an index of computer software having 
potential utility for other congressional installations; and 

7. Coordinate hardware, software, and procedural develop- 
ments to assure backup compatibility among the congressional 
computer facilities. 

MAJOR ACTIVITIES FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD 

In initial discussions, the members of the Task Force on Hardware 
Requirements determined that many issues to be addressed would 
concern software development and communications capabilities, as 
well as hardware requirements. With this thought in mind, the Task 
Force requested that the Policy Coordination Group give serious con- 
sideration to reinstituting the original concept of a "Task Force on 
Hardware and Software Requirements." The Policy Coordination 
Group concurred with the Task Force's recommendation and approved 
a new r charter which states in part that the newly designated Task 
Force on Computer Hardware and Software Requirements ". . .will 
develop and recommend administrative policies and technical stand- 
ards, procedures, and conventions. The scope of responsibility of the 
Task Force includes computer hardware, software, and communi- 
cations. . . ." 



11 

In order to become more familiar with each legislative computer 
facility, arrangements were made for formal on-site computer con- 
figuration visits and ADP workload presentations. Tours were con- 
ducted through the House Information Systems (HIS), Senate 
Computer Center (SCC), and Library of Congress (LC) computer 
facilities. In addition, Task Force members recommended that appro- 
priate personnel from the Government Printing Office (GPO) be 
appointed to the Task Force. Subsequently, a facility tour and 
statistical presentation were provided by GPO. 

The Task Force determined that a great many issues and questions 
which might be addressed by the group in the next several months 
would be of a highly technical nature. Since a number of the Task 
Force participants were not involved in the day-to-day technical 
procedures of their computer centers, "technical working groups" 
were created. Each technical working group is made up of personnel 
from the organizations participating on the Task Force and includes 
some Task Force members. The Technical Working Group on Com- 
puter Backup currently is addressing the problem of which site will 
offer backup support for one or more of its congressional counterparts 
in case of some emergency. The Technical Working Group on Com- 
puter Communications is serving as a coordinating body for the inter- 
related communications activities of the participating computer 
facilities. 

To date, three specific policy questions have been raised and 
preliminary discussions have ensued : 

(1) "What site on Capitol Hill could be used if one of the HIS, 
SCC, LC, or GPO computer facilities met with some catastrophe, 
i.e., fire, flood, vandalism, or some other severe form of prolonged 
power outage? 

(2) What tasks currently being performed are of the highest 
priority to each legislative branch agency, and what interim 
backup capability could be provided by another congressional 
facility? 

(3) What possibilities exist for better utilizing the computer 
facilities currently in operation on Capitol Hill through the 
"sharing" of unused computer capacities? 

In light of these discussions, each Task Force participant represent- 
ing a major Hill installation has drawn up a list of that facility's 
priority projects which must be protected in order to continue an 
acceptable, if minimal, level of support. An example of one application 
of concern to all is payroll delivery. 

A tentative definition which reflects backup needs in terms of a time 
framework and responsive actions was proposed : 

(1) to 24 hours — transfer computerized files and applications 
support; this may be planned in advance; 

(2) 1 to 14 days — transport operating programs; support can 
then be provided by using borrowed hardware ; and 

(3) 14+ days — install a complete, new operating capability at 
another designated backup facility. 

PROJECTED AREAS OF COXCEXTRATIOX 

In the coming year, the Task Force on Commputer Hardware and 
Software Requirements hopes to identify and recommend policy 



12 

changes which would affect long-range Capitol Hill computer planning. 
Five priority action areas have been identified : 

1. The group will identify unique hardware backup require- 
ments for each of the separate computer facilities; 

2. Each installation will be encouraged to develop and test 
systems for external emergency support of critical applications. 
A special report will be prepared detailing the benefits, limita- 
tions, and cost of a "stand-alone" backup site located in a building 
which does not contain a primary computer facility; 

3. A software index will be developed, catalogued, and up- 
dated in a timely fashion as a potential source reference for other 
facilities; 

4. The Task Force will assist in interface planning which in- 
volves communication software (COMTEN) in each of the Capitol 
Hill computer facilities. When a common networking system is 
in operation, on-line backup will be possible; and 

5. Establish methods for maintaining documentation and status 
information pertaining to the retirement and acquisition of com- 
puter hardware and software. 

TASK FORCE STAFFING 

Chairman: Curt Merrick, House Information Systems; 1978; 
James Myracle, Library of Congress/Information Systems Office; 1977. 

Members: Anthony Harvey, Senate Committee on Rules and 
Administration; Frank Reeder, House Information Systems; Pat 
Sarman, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration; William 
Poulin, Senate Computer Center; Ron Ontko, Senate Computer 
Center; Richard Fields, House Information Systems; James Price, 
Congressional Research Service; W T illiam Nugent, Library of Congress/ 
Information Systems Office; Donald Pfalzgraf, Library of Congress/ 
Information Systems Office; Raymond Pluto, Government Printing- 
office ; Dennis Chastain, Government Printing Office. 

Orientation and Training 

charter statement 

Members, committees, and staff in Congress have experienced an 
ever-increasing proliferation of computer-oriented information re- 
sources and services. Acquainting the Members and staff personnel 
with the characteristics and uses of information technology is a never- 
ending job. The importance of orienting and educating the congres- 
sional community — using such diverse media as brochures, films, 
briefings, and an assortment of more traditional products — in how and 
when computers (and other tools) can be of help is critical to the future 
role of information technology on Capitol Hill. Also, the teaching of 
particular skills, such as operating computer terminals, has placed a. 
demand on Senate, Mouse, and CRS training personnel that calls for 
the coordinated allocation of resources. The charter of the Task 
Force on Orientation and Training is to initiate, coordinate, and 
sponsor those types of activities which would both orient and train 
congressional personnel in the "what, when, and how" of information 
technology. 



13 



OBJECTIVES 



The Task Force on Orientation and Training is a newly activated 
group. At its initial meeting, the members of the Task Force identified 
two broad objectives which will provide the basic scope for the coming 
year's activities: 

(1) Coordinate dissemination of automation-related Capitol 
Hill orientation and training programs and materials of gen- 
eral use by congressional staff; and 

(2) Examine the feasibility of developing and maintaining a 
"clearinghouse" for information science and automation-related 
information which would include conferences, seminars, briefings 
and demonstrations that would be of interest to Task Force 
members as well as other appropriate congressional personnel. 

As the year progresses, the Task Force may choose to more narrowly 
define or subdivide these broad-based objectives. 

MAJOR ACTIVITIES FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD 

Since the Ta^k Force on Orientation and Training is one of the most 
recently inaugurated groups, many of the Task Force's activities are 
anticipatory in nature. At one of the first Task Force meetings, mem- 
bers of the group identified several key issues which the Task Force 
would address during the year: 

1. Those orientation/training methods associated with auto- 
mated and information science activities; 

2. The separation of treatment regarding the principles, 
practices, and procedures associated respectively with orienta- 
tion and training functions; and 

3. Examination of both the time-honored and current orienta- 
tion and training methods and the latest state-of-the-art develop- 
ments in each of these fields. 

Prior to the initiation of the Task Force, two of the current Task 
Force members participated in ^the writing and editing of a 
handbook on information transfer. This publication, soon to be re- 
leased, will describe various methods, media, and modes utilized for 
purposes of orientation and training as Members and staff seek to 
transfer ideas and knowledge. 

PROJECTED AREAS OF CONCENTRATION 

In the coming year, the Task Force will be concerned with the 
coordination and promotion of orientation and training activities 
on Capitol Hill. To achieve these ends, several projects and programs 
are envisioned: 

1. The Task Force will examine the feasibility of establishing an 
information "clearinghouse" that will maintain — in a timely 
fashion — listings of organizations responsible for computer 
and information science-oriented seminars, conferences, briefings, 
tours, and demonstrations useful to congressional personnel; 

2. If the "clearinghouse" concept should prove useful, the Task 
Force will evaluate the potential for developing an automated infor- 
mation file that will serve as an on-line "activities clearinghouse"; 



14 

3. An additional task will encompass the preparation of a 
reference guide to instructional materials, which might be of 
use in the Capitol Hill orientation/training environment; 

4. The Task Force will consider a comprehensive Hill-wide 
presentation package on automated services for Member orienta- 
tion programs; 

5. Each participating Task Force organization will conduct a 
briefing on its own orient ation/training capabilities and programs 
for the entire Task Force membership ; 

6. The Task Force will develop and recommend to the Policy 
Coordination Group a formal procedure for notifying pertinent 
Capitol Hill staffs of ongoing or projected congressional orienta- 
tion/training activities ; 

7. Members of the Task Force will attend various orientation 
and training briefings and demonstrations sponsored by private 
and public sector organizations. This activity will provide its 
members with insight into both currently available and developing 
orientation/training tools and techniques. In turn, the Task Force 
may sponsor similar briefings and demonstrations for the con- 
gressional user community at a later date; and 

8. The Task Force on Orientation and Training will work in 
close association — either through direct support or in an advisory 
capacity — with other task forces to promote computer-related 
information resources and services in the congressional arena. 

TASK FORCE STAFFING 

Chairman: Edward Mason, Congressional Research Service; 197S. 

Members: Patricia Dowling, House Information Systems; Dianne 
Oshetski, House Information Systems; Jeri Thomson James, Office of 
the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate; Barbara Trueheart, Office of the 
Sergeant at Arms of the Senate; Marian Saunders, Senate Computer 
Center; Mary Ruth Alter, Senate Computer Center; Marilyn Courtot, 
Office of the Secretary of the Senate; John Kaldahl, Congressional 
Research Service; Marvin Kornbluh, Congressional Research Service; 
Jane Lindley, Congressional Research Service; Wayne Edblom, 
Library of Congress/Information Systems Office. 

Word Processing Technology 

charter statement 

The Task Force on Word Processing originally was tasked b}^ the 
Policy' Coordination Group to coordinate the research, development, 
and use of word or text processing equipment and related man-machine 
techniques in support of constituent, legislative, and administrative 
functions. In its recently expanded charter, this task force is charged 
with monitoring state-of-the-art advances in this technology as well 
as assessing the research and developmental activities of word process- 
ing vendors. 



15 



OBJECTIVES 



At the initial meeting of the Task Force on Word Processing, the 
participating members defined the following major objectives: 

1. Coordinate research, analysis, and developmental efforts in 
the field of word processing not only between the Senate, House of 
Representatives, and Library of Congress, but also between 
those other congressional organizations with whom they must 
interface periodically in a word processing mode; 

2. Relate state-of-the-art word processing technology to legis- 
lative, administrative, and constituent-oriented processes on 
Capitol Hill; and 

3. Propose orientation programs for legislative personnel de- 
signed to show both the benefits and limitations of the technology. 

MAJOR ACTIVITIES FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD 

The Task Force had its first organizational meeting on April 4, 1978. 
At that time, the Task Force's members discussed tentative objectives 
and possible work assignments. More formalized and focused plans 
will be approved by the group at subsequent meetings. Due to its 
high visibility and rapidly changing technology, plus the potential 
impact which word processing will have on the congressional milieu, 
the Task Force will be meeting on a semi-monthly basis. 

PROJECTED AREAS OF CONCENTRATION 

The members of the Task Force on Word Processing plan to initiate, 
coordinate, and sponsor numerous activities throughout the next year. 
These projects and programs will fulfill two goals: (1) to educate the 
Task Force members regarding salient developments, and (2) to pro- 
vide greater exposure for large numbers of Capitol Hill staff to word 
processing technologies. 

There are six action areas which will be pursued: 

(1) To obtain a thorough understanding of current word process- 
ing activities on Capitol Hill, briefings by each Task Force 
participant will be presented. These presentations will allow the 
Task Force members to become more fully acquainted with each 
legislative agency's word processing efforts; 

(2) Task Force members will identify and select common 
problems related to word processing that might be reduced or 
resolved through research and analysis efforts sponsored by the 
group ; 

(3) An attempt will be made to categorize current word 
processing technologies into a number of fields based on specific 
Capitol Hill word processing application areas. Special working 
groups comprised of appropriate Task Force members and other 
legislative branch resource personnel will be formed to address 
any unique or highly technical problem areas; 

(4) In addition to keeping abreast of present state-of-the-art 
developments in word processing, vendor perceptions and plans 
concerning developments underway which involve these technol- 
ogies will be solicited; and 



16 

(5) Several products are envisioned in the course of the next few 
months : 

(a) A brief but comprehensive "primer" on word process- 
ing, defining and describing applications, will be prepared for 
congressional distribution; and 

(b) Seminars detailing current uses of word processing for 
publication purposes, office practices, and administrative 
uses will be conducted and/or sponsored by the Task Force. 
In addition, the Task Force will develop a notification 
system to make known any private, professional, academic, 
or federally sponsored word processing conferences or 
workshops open to congressional personnel. 

TASK FORCE STAFFING 

Chairman: Cheryl Smith, House Information Systems; 1978. 

Members: Alan Linden, Congressional Research Service; Joyce 
Amenta, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration; Janice 
Robertson, House Information Systems; Paula Hantman, House In- 
formation Systems; Jack Carpenter, Committee on House Administra- 
tion; Pat Sarman, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration; 
Lou Frazier, Senate Computer Center; Dave Brazeal, House Infor- 
mation Systems; Barry Wolk, Office of the Secretary of the Senate. 



III. RELATED DOCUMENTATION 

The Library of Congress, 
Congressional Research Service, 

Washington, B.C., April 27, 1977. 
Hon. Howard W. Cannon, 

Chairman, Committee on Rales and Administration, 
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 

Dear Howard: During the past few years, there has been a tre- 
mendous growth in the development of automated information sys- 
tems to serve the Congress. As this work continues it becomes 
increasingly desirable to formalize the working relationships involving 
legislative branch staffs and facilities responsible in this critical area. 

As you know, there have been many instances during recent Con- 
gresses when staff from the Senate, House, Library of Congress, and 
other legislative agencies worked together, as in the development of a 
Legislative Information and Status System (LEGIS) and certain 
fiscal-budgetary applications. 

In order to eliminate duplication and redundancy in the collection, 
storage, processing, and management of key legislative data, and 
ensure the more efficient use of the Senate, House, and Library com- 
puter installations, I should like to propose the creation of a " Joint 
Working Group." This group, comprised of carefully chosen staff 
personnel from the Senate, House, and Congressional Research Service, 
would function under a formal charter with the explicit responsibility 
to coordinate the development of technology-supported information 
systems during the present and succeeding Congresses. 

With the concurrence of Frank Thompson, chairman of the Com- 
mittee on House Administration, and yourself, I will assign to specific 
staff members of the Congressional Research Service, who will be 
supported by other appropriate Library personnel, the responsibility 
for working closely with designated staff from the Senate Committee 
on Rules and Administration and the Committee on House Admin- 
istration. Through this Joint Working Group we shall be able to 
commit key resources to the fulfillment of priority goals. Responsive- 
ness to the information needs of the Members and committees of both 
chambers will increase accordingly. 

Should this group be established, I foresee the need for undertaking 
specific assignments through the use of subgroups (or task forces) of 
staffers with those skills and experience that will ensure success. 
Certain of these tasks will have very precise, essentially technical 
objectives. Others will be of a more research and development nature, 
looking at how new technology — word processing, for example — can 
facilitate congressional information handling. 

Illustrative of the top priority task force areas are those listed below : 

1. Legislative Information and Status System (LEGIS). — Develop- 
ment during the 95th Congress of the capability by the Senate, House, 
and Congressional Research Service to enter, edit, and validate each 

(17) 



18 

body's official legislative information concerning the content and 
status of pending legislation, with the further ability to transmit that 
information over the Capitol Hill computer network during the day 
in which the legislative action or analysis occurs. A unified approach 
will be developed for the most expeditious, nonduplicative collection, 
data base maintenance, and versatile accessing of desired informa- 
tion, as well as a shared development of necessary additional software. 

2. Budget and fiscal systems. — Coordinated development of those 
Federal budgetary and fiscal systems capable of directly supporting the 
legislative work of the committees of both chambers and other Capitol 
Hill analytical elements. Included will be the creation of data to be 
subsequently available through display and printout for use by 
Member staff. 

3. Word processing technology. — Coordinated research and analysis 
of the potential of word processing equipment and techniques in sup- 
port of constituent, legislative, and administrative applications. 

4. Bill drafting and statutory retrieval. — Joint assessment of the 
systems requirements necessary to create an effective congressional 
bill drafting capability plus a committee and conference report prepa- 
ration system. Also, to provide support to the Justice Retrieval and 
Inquiry System (JURIS) of the Department of Justice which offers 
a legal information retrieval capability by coordinating the efforts 
of the Legislative Counsels, Law Revision Counsels, and the Govern- 
ment Printing Office in the creation and timely maintenance of an 
up-to-date United States Code, U.S. Statu tes-at-Large, and public 
law enactments as they occur. 

5. Microform technology. — Exploration of the most effective use of 
microform tools and techniques, including the transfer of selected data 
employing computer output microfilm (COM) technology. 

6. Hardware and software requirements. — Determination through an 
intensive technical design study, of the equipment and software (com- 
puter programs) needs of the Congress and its supporting legislative 
branch agencies. This could then serve as the nucleus of a long-range 
plan for the entire legislative branch: Senate, House, Library of Con- 
gress, General Accounting Office, Government Printing Office, Office 
of Technology, and Congressional Budget Office. 

7. Video and audio technology. — Identification of those ways in 
which both video and audio technologies can be of use to the Senators 
and Representatives in their on-going chamber, committee, and con- 
stituent-oriented activities. 

With the emphasis today on functioning as effectively as possible, 
and in the light of recognized limitations on our respective resources, 
it seems imperative that we combine the vitality and vision of our 
professional information staffs so that the end results meet the broader 
needs of the Congress. 

I shall look forward to receiving your reaction to this proposal, and 
to working with your staff in meeting our common goals. 
SincereH , 

Gilbert Gude, Director. 



19 

The Library of Congress, 
coxgressioxal research service, 

Washington, D.C., April 27, 1977. 
Hon. Frank Thompson, Jr., 
Chairman, Committee on House Administration, 
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., 

Dear Frank: During the past few years, there has been a tre- 
mendous growth in the development of automated information sys- 
tems to serve the Congress. As this work continues it becomes in- 
creasingly desirable to formalize the working relationships involving 
legislative branch staffs and facilities responsible in this critical area. 

As you know, there have been many instances during recent Con- 
gresses when staff from the Senate, House, Library of Congress, and 
other legislative agencies worked together, as in the development of a 
Legislative Information and Status System (LEGIS) and certain 
fiscal-budgetary applications. 

In order to eliminate duplication and redundancy in the collections, 
storage, processing, and management of key legislative data, and 
ensure the more efficient use of the Senate, House, and Library com- 
puter installations, I should like to propose the creation of a "Joint 
Working Group." This group, comprised of carefully chosen staff 
personnel from the Senate, House, and Congressional Research 
Service, would function under a formal charter with the explicit 
responsibility to coordinate the development of technology-supported 
information systems during the present and succeeding Congresses. 

With the concurrence of Senator Howard Cannon, chairman of the 
Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, and yourself, 1 will 
assign to specific staff members of the Congressional Research Service, 
who will be supported by other appropriate Library personnel, the 
responsibility for working closely with designated staff from the 
Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the Committee 
on House Administration. Through this Joint Working Group, we 
shall be able to commit key resources to the fulfillment of priority 
goals. Responsiveness to the information needs of the Members and 
committees of both chambers will increase accordingly. 

Should this group be established, 1 foresee the need for undertaking 
specific assignments through the use of subgroups (or task forces) of 
staffers with those skills and experience that will ensure success. 
Certain of these tasks will have very precise, essentially technical 
objectives. Others will be of a more research and development nature, 
looking at how new technology — word processing, for example — can 
facilitate congressional information handling. 

Illustrative of the top priority task force areas are those listed below : 

1. Legislative Information and Status System (LEGIS). — Develop- 
ment during the 95th Congress of the capability by the Senate, House, 
and Congressional Research Service to enter, edit, and validate each 
body's official legislative information concerning the content and 
status of pending legislation, with the further ability to transmit that 
information over the Capitol Hill computer network during the day 
in which the legislative action or analysis occurs. A unified approach 
will be developed for the most expeditious, nonduplicative collection, 
data base maintenance, and versatile accessing of desired informa- 
tion, as well as a shared development of necessary additional software. 



20 

2. Budget and fiscal systems. — Coordinated development of those 
Federal budgetary and fiscal systems capable of directly supporting 
the legislative work of the committees of both chambers and other 
Capitol Hill analytical elements. Included will be the creation of data 
to be subsequently available through display and printout for use by 
Member staff. 

3. Word processing technology. — Coordinated research and analysis 
of the potential of word processing equipment and techniques in sup- 
port of constituent, legislative, and administrative applications. 

4. Bill drafting and statutory retrieval. — Joint assessment of the 
systems requirements necessary to create an effective congressional 
bill drafting capability plus a committee and conference report prepa- 
ration system. Also, to provide support to the Justice Retrieval and 
Inquiry System (JURIS) of the Department of Justice which offers 
a legal information retrieval capability by coordinating the efforts 
of the Legislative Counsels, Law Revision Counsels, and the Govern- 
ment Printing Office in the creation and timely maintenance of an 
up-to-date United States Code, U.S. Statutes-at-Large, and public 
law enactments as they occur. 

5. Microform technology. — Exploration of the most effective use of 
microform tools and techniques, including the transfer of selected data 
employing computer output microfilm (COM) technology. 

6. Hardware and software requirements. — Determination through an 
intensive technical design study, of the equipment and software (com- 
puter programs) needs of the Congress and its supporting legislative 
branch agencies. This could then serve as the nucleus of a long-range 
plan for the entire legislative branch: Senate, House, Library of Con- 
gress, Genera] Accounting Office, Government Printing Office, Office 
of Technolog}^, and Congressional Budget Office. 

7. Video and audio technology. — Identification of those ways in 
which both video and audio technologies can be of use to the Senators 
and Representatives in their on-going chamber, committee, and con- 
stituent-oriented activities. 

With the emphasis today on functioning as effectively as possible, 
and in the light of recognized limitations on our respective resources, 
it seems imperative that we combine the vitality and vision of our 
professional information staffs so that the end results meet the broader 
needs of the Congress. 

I shall look forward to receiving your reaction to this proposal, and 
to working with your staff in meeting our common goals. 
Sincerely, 

Gilbert Gude, Director. 

U.S. Senate, 
Committee on Rules and Administration, 

Washington, B.C., May 4, 1977. 
Mr. Gilbert Gude, 

Director, Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress, 
Washington, D.C. 
Dear Gil: I wholeheartedly endorse your proposal to formalize 
the working relationships among computer services staff of the Library 
of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives. As you 
know, staff of the Library and the Rules and Administration Com- 



21 

mittee have developed informal but highly productive working 
relationships during the past two Congresses. The installation of dis- 
play and printer terminals in 98 Senators' offices which are used for 
on-line access to Library and Congressional Research Service data 
bases is an unusual example of how well even informal arrangements 
can pay off. A second example is that of our Congressional Legislative 
Information and Status System known as LEGIS. The LEGIS j oint project 
authorized by the chairman of the Committee on House Administra- 
tion and myself is now being implemented in its first version, with the 
Library performing an outstanding job as the Scorpio and CRS bill 
content data ''subcontractor." 

In addition, hardware and software compatibility has been main- 
tained at all three computer facilities. This compatibility has enabled 
us to join the three facilities into a common computer communications 
network. These and similar activities can be cited of staff initiative 
in the development of efficient information services to the legislative 
branch without expensive and wasteful duplication of facilities and 
staff. 

I am satisfied that these activities have proven the practicality and, 
in fact, paved the way for deeper and more effective arrangements 
for providing computer services here on Capitol Hill. The first two 
tasks which you recommend as priority task force areas are especially 
well chosen. Our respective staffs are presently cooperating in the de- 
velopment of both these areas, namely, LEGIS and budgetary and 
fiscal systems. Much, however, remains to be accomplished during the 
95th Congress. And, if these accomplishments result in information 
systems which are as good as we intend them to be, much will remain 
to be done in the integration of the resultant systems and in the 
elimination of unnecessary duplication wherever we find it while still 
maintaining adequate backup. 

In closing, I fully concur with your recommendation that we 
formalize the working relationships among the computer staffs of the 
Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Library of Congress. 

With all best wishes, 
Sincerely, 

Howard W. Caxxox, Chairman. 



Congress of the United States, 

House of Representatives, 
Committee on House Administration, 

Washington, B.C., May 6, 1977. 
Hon. Gilbert Gude, 
Director, Congressional Research Service, 
Library of Congress, 
Washington, B.C. 

Dear Gil: Thank you very much for your letter of April 27 con- 
cerning the automated information systems of the Congress. 

Charlie Rose briefed me on your proposal for a " Joint Working 
Group" of staff from the Senate, the House and the Library of Con- 
gress. I think this is an excellent idea, and I pledge you our full 
cooperation. Better coordination of our computer systems ought to 
improve the efficiency of the legislative branch. 



22 

I am designating Boyd Alexander and Neal Gregory from the staff 
of the Committee on House Administration to represent the House in 
this effort. 



With kind regards, 
Cordially, 



Frank Thompson, Jr., Chairman. 



The Library of Congress, 
Congressional Research Service, 

Washington, B.C., June 21, 1977. 
Hon. Howard W. Cannon, 

Chairman, Committee on Rules and Administration, U.S. Senate, 
Washington, B.C. 
Dear Howard : Good progress has been made by our staffs in estab- 
lishing a coordinating mechanism to oversee the development of 
technology-supported information systems for the Congress. It is 
suggested that the nomenclature be changed, however, to "Policy 
Coordination Group (PCG)," which is more accurately descriptive 
of this staff support function. 

I am attaching for your review and approval the concept paper 
which sets forth the "Roles and Responsibilities of the Policy Co- 
ordination Group." Upon receipt of your approval and that of Frank 
Thompson, Jr., chairman of the Committee on House Administra- 
tion, we shall use this as a working charter and proceed to activate 
the task forces that will actually address the various action areas. 

In the light of the Congress' increasing commitments in funding 
and staffing of advanced information systems, the importance of this 
coordinating effort continues to grow. 

Your support of this effort is much appreciated, and we look for- 
ward to your comments regarding this paper. 
Sincerely, 

Gilbert Gude, Birector. 
Enclosure. 



The Library of Congress, 
Congressional Research Service, 

Washington, B.C., June 21, 1977. 
Hon. Frank Thompson, Jr., 

Chairman, Committee on House Administration, U.S. House oj 
Representatives, Washington, B.C. 
Dear Frank: Good progress has been made by our staffs in estab- 
lishing a coordinating mechanism to oversee the development of 
technology-supported information systems for the Congress. It is 
suggested that the nomenclature be changed, however, to "Policy 
Coordination Group (PCG), ,, which is more accurately descriptive of 
this staff support function. 

I am attaching for your review and approval the concept paper 
which sets forth the "Roles and Responsibilities of the Policy Coordi- 
nation Group." Upon receipt of your approval and that of Howard W. 
Cannon, chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration, we 



23 

shall use this as a working charter and proceed to activate the task 
forces that will actually address the various action areas. 

In the light of the Congress' increasing commitments in funding and 
staffing of advanced information systems, the importance of this 
coordinating effort continues to grow. 

Your support of this effort is much appreciated, and we look forward 
to your comments regarding this paper. 
Sincerely, 

Gilbert Gude, Director. 

Enclosure. 

Roles and Responsibilities of the Policy Coordination Group 
purpose and priorities 

In fulfillment of a longstanding desire on the part of the Congress 
to more effectively plan for and institute improved information re- 
sources and services, the creation of a coordinating staff mechanism 
has been authorized. This "Policy Coordination Group (PCG)" — 
originally referred to as the "Joint Working Group (JWG)" — and 
comprised of carefully chosen staff personnel from the Senate, House, 
and Congressional Research Service, has been assigned the explicit 
responsibility to "coordinate the development of technology-supported 
information systems during the present and succeeding Congresses." l 

The emphasis of the Policy Coordination Group, as it strives to 
ensure maximum cooperation in areas of common interest between 
legislative branch staffs and facilities responsible for developing ad- 
vanced information services, is on: 

1. Communicating regularly in order to identify changing 
leadership, Member, and committee requirements for various 
kinds of information products and services ; 

2. Establishing feasible work plans that will result in short- 
term benefits to the users, as well as the creation of a long-range 
strategy for supporting the congressional community; and 

3. Providing a structure which would recommend the commit- 
ment of those key resources sufficient to meet the needs and 
attain the priority goals of the Congress. 

Through these actions, and with appropriate review by its author- 
izing agents, the Policy Coordination Group will seek — in the words 
of Gilbert Gude, Director of CRS — to eliminate unnecessary dupli- 
cation and redundancy "in the collection, storage, processing, and 
management of key legislative data, and insure the more efficient use 
of the Senate, House, and Library computer installations." 2 

The composition of the Policy Coordination Group will be one 
principal member and one alternate each from the U.S. Senate, House 
of Representatives, and Congressional Research Service. Resource 
personnel from these and other legislative branch organizations will 
be utilized in undertaking task-oriented assignments, as necessary. 

An agreement has been reached concerning an initial grouping of 
high priority task areas where common interest has been demonstrated, 
with some having very precise, essentially technical objectives, while 

1 Separate letters from Gilbert Gude, Director, Congressional Research Service to: Hon. Howard W. 
Cannon, chairman, Committee on Rules and Administration, U.S. Senate; and Hon. Frank Thompson. Jr., 
chairman, Committee on House Administration, U.S. House of Representatives (both dated Apr. 27, 1977)i 
lp. 

' Ibid. 



24 

others are of a more research and development nature. The nine 
top priority areas which will be addressed by special "task forces" of 
staff personnel with pertinent skills and experience include: 

1. Legislative Information and Status System (LEGIS). — Develop- 
ment during the 95th Congress of the capability by the Senate, House, 
and Congressional Research Service to enter, edit, and validate each 
body's official legislative information concerning the content and status 
of pending legislation, with the further ability to transmit that in- 
formation over the Capitol Hill computer network during the day in 
which the legislation action or analysis occurs. A unified approach will 
be developed for the most expeditious, nonduplicative collection, data 
base maintenance, and versatile accessing of desired information, as 
well as a shared development of necessary additional software. 

2. Budget and fiscal systems. — Coordinated development of those 
Federal budgetary and fiscal information systems capable of directly 
supporting the legislative work of the committees of both chambers 
and other Capitol Hill analytical elements. Included will be the crea- 
tion of data to be subsequently available through display and print- 
out, and the utilization of computer-supported "models," for use by 
Members and committee staff. It is recognized that this activity must 
be closely coordinated with the fiscal-budgetary users' group and the 
technology committee that already have established vital links be- 
tween the Congressional Budget Office and the other elements of the 
legislative fiscal-budgetary community. 

3. Bill drafting and statutory retrieval. — Joint assessment of the 
systems requirements necessary to create an effective automated 
congressional bill drafting capability plus a committee and conference 
report preparation system. Also, to provide support to legal informa- 
tion retrieval capabilities by coordinating the efforts of the Legislative 
Counsels, Law Revisions Counsels, and the U.S. Government Printing 
Office in the creation and timely maintenance of an up-to-date United 
States Code, U.S. Statutes at Large, and public law enactments as 
they occur. Great care will be taken not to duplicate the work of the 
Advisory Committee on Automation and Standardization of Congres- 
sional Publications. 

[Note. — These first three Task Force areas represent areas where 
considerable activity already exists, but in each instance the impor- 
tance of the project is such that an overview ensuring maximum 
coordination must be considered a sine qua non.] 

4. Word processing technology. — Coordinated research and analysis 
of the potential of word (or text) processing equipment and man- 
machine techniques in support of constituent, legislative, and admin- 
istrative applications. 

5. Microjorm technology. — Exploration of the most effective use of 
microform tools and techniques, when applied to the needs of legis- 
lative users, including the transfer of selected data employing com- 
puter output microfilm (COM) technology. 

6. Video and audio technology. — Identification of those ways in which 
both video and audio technologies can be of use to the Senators and 
Representatives in their ongoing chamber, committee, and constitu- 
ent-oriented activities. This may include looking at how multimedia 
user configurations, including the use of computer-generated graphics, 
can meet the dynamic needs of the Congress. 



25 

[Note. — The second group of three Task Force areas is illustrative 
of the need for information systems developers on Capitol Hill to 
stay abreast of state-of-the-art progress.] 

7. Long range hardware requirements. — In coordination with the 
Task Force looking at long-range software requirements, to recom- 
mend through an intensive technical design study the full array of 
equipment needs of the Congress and its supporting agencies. This 
twin-faceted plan, covering a 5-year period, will take into account 
projected user needs and the known potential of candidate hardware. 

8. Long range software requirements. — This coordinated, in-parallel 
effort with the Task Force responsible for recommending long-range 
hardware requirements also will result in the preparation of a detailed 
technical design report. With the continuing, myriad options available 
through the use of computer programs — and the interfaces necessary 
to integrate other technologies such as telecommunications and 
microform — the readying of a 5-year plan is a matter of high 
importance. 

[Note. — Participation in these two Task Force areas by all legis- 
lative branch entities is planned: Senate, House, Library of Congress 
Congressional Research Service, General Accounting Office, Govern- 
ment Printing Office, and Congressional Budget Office.] 

9. Orientation and training. — Acquainting the Members and staff 
personnel of the Congress with the characteristics and uses of informa- 
tion technology is a never-ending job. The importance of orienting and 
educating the congressional community — using such diverse media as 
brochures, films, briefings, and an assortment of more traditional 
products — in how and when computers (and other tools) can be of 
help is critical to the future role of information technology on Capitol 
Hill. Also, the teaching of particular skills, such as operating computer 
terminals, has placed a demand on Senate, House, and CRS training 
personnel that calls for the coordinated allocation of resources. 

In addition, the PCG will activate, as required, ad hoc task forces to 
deal with short-term matters necessitating immediate attention. 
Illustrative of this is the plan to formally describe the current com- 
puter equipment backup arrangements that exist within the legisla- 
tive branch. 

In endorsing this approach to coping with the complexities in 
providing comprehensive, accurate, and timely information support 
to the Congress, Senator Howard W. Cannon, chairman of the 
Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, noted the "informal 
but highly productive working relationships" between his staff and 
that of the Library of Congress during the past two Congresses. He 
then went on to say that since "hardware and software compatibility 
has been maintained at all three computer facilities" it has "enabled 
us to join the three facilities into a common computer communications 
network." 3 Representative Frank Thompson, Jr., chairman of the 
Committee on House Administration, also pledged "full cooperation" 
and stressed that "Better coordination of our computer systems ought 
to improve the efficiency of the legislative branch." 4 

3 Letter from Hon. Howard W. Cannon, chairman, Committee on Rules and Administration, U.S. Senate 
to Gilbert Gude, Director, Congressional Research Service (dated May 4, 1977). 1 p. 

4 Letter from Hon. Frank Thompson, Jr., chairman, Committee on House Administration, U.S. House 
of Representatives, to Gilbert Gude, Director, Congressional Research Service (dated May 6, 1977). 1 p. 



26 

COGNIZANCE OF CURRENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND ACTIVITIES 

The basic responsibility for guiding the development of information 
products and services involving the support of computers and related 
technology is vested in the Senate Committee on Rules and Adminis- 
tration and the Committee on House Administration. Each of these 
oversight bodies has been performing this duty during the 1970 
decade, 5 and has prepared a set of formal guidelines which is encap- 
sulated below. 

The Senate " Guidelines for Information Processing and Computer 
Service Activities," adopted by the Committee on Rules and Adminis- 
tration on July 21, 1971, include this opening paragraph: 6 

The Committee on Rules and Administration shall have 
authority concerning policy, organization, initiation, imple- 
mentation, operation and evaluation of all matters concerned 
with information processing and communications as they 
relate to mechanization, automation, computerization, or 
related functions. 

During this period, prior to the 95th Congress, the Subcommittee on 
Computer Services was the primary mechanism for carrying out the 
series of guidelines but, commencing in 1977, this responsibility has 
been assumed by the full committee. 

The House of Representatives, having unified its computer-oriented 
activities in 1971 under the aegis of the House Information Systems 
(HIS) group, employed identical wording in delineating its authority 
over all computerization (and related) matters, but also took steps to 
establish (on March 17, 1977) a Policy Group on Information and 
Computers : 7 

. . . which shall oversee the activities of House Information 
Systems and shall make recommendations to the committee 
concerning information policy for the House of 
Representatives. 

The Policy Coordination Group, having been created through the 
approval of the chairmen of the Senate Committee on Rules and 
Administration and the Committee on House Administration, will con- 
duct its activities with a full cognizance of the areas of purview already 
established by the Senate and House 8 guidelines governing informa- 
tion processing and computer service activities. 

In those instances where either the Senate or House has initiated 
study or pilot efforts which fall within one of the Policy Coordination 
Group task force areas, the approach to a coordinated endeavor — 
involving key representatives from all germane legislative groups — 
will be undertaken in such a way as to prevent duplicative or con- 
flicting results. 

» Sec U.S. Congress. House. Select Committee on Committees. The Congress and information technology. 
Staff report prepared for the use of the Select Committee by the Science Policy Research Division, Con- 
gressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 93d Congress, 2d session, May 5, 1974. Washington, D.C., 
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974. 277 p. 

6 U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Rules and Administration. Report of the Subcommittee on 
Computer Services. 95th Congress, 1st session, Jan. 3, 1977. Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing 
Office, 1977. Exhibit 2, p. 19-20. 

7 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on House Administration. Policy draft: information processing and 
computer service activities. Washington, D.C. 20515. [Approved Mar. 17, 1977]. 1 p. 

8 Also see U.S. Congress. House. Committee on House Administration. Providing funds for the expenses 
of the House Information Svstoms of the Committee oh House Administration. 95th Congress, 1st session, 
Report No. 95-137, Mar. 29, 1977. Washington, D.C, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977. 22 p. 



27 



CURRENT COMMITMENTS IN PROVIDING AUTOMATED INFORMATION 

SUPPORT 

In keeping with the trend towards larger congressional staffs — 
committee, personal, administrative, and legislative support groups — 
that has seen a twofold increase between 1970 and 1976, there has 
been a concomitant buttressing of resources committed to providing 
automated information support. A McKinsey & Co. study recently 
indicated that funding for "computer systems spending'' had risen 
from $4,896,000 in 1970 to $29,112,000 in 1976. 9 

These costs are a telling indicator of the commitment which has 
been made by the leadership of the two chambers to insure the best 
possible information resources and services. Figure 2 depicts, by 
agency, the computer costs and how they have increased during this 
decade. 10 



1970 = $4,896,000 



1976 = $29,1 12,000 



LOC 



GAO 




GPO 



•298,000 -Senate 
^434,000 -House 




LOC 



1957,000. GAO 
1,208,000- CBO 



Figure 2 



Not only have funding levels risen significantly, but the number of 
staff involved in technology-supported information handling also has 
increased. Examples of this latter trend: House Information Systems 
personnel strength grew from one in 1971 to 210 in 1977; n over a 
longer time span, the Library of Congress has increased its manning 
commitment from 15 in 1966 to 168 in 1976. 12 It should be noted that 
in addition to sheer numbers, the diversity of skills required has grown 
apace. 

From modest beginnings in the mid-sixties when computers were 
used primarily in handling payrolls and inventories of equipment, the 
computing facilities of the Senate, House of Representatives, and 
Library of Congress — each supported by sizable staffs of analysts, 
systems designers, programmers, applications specialists, and data 
entry personnel — now are capable of providing high volume and 
diversification processing services. Many tasks are still performed in 



9 Management issues: congressional analytic and information support. A presentation before the Policy 
Group on Information and Computers, U.S. House of Representatives, dated Jan. 31, 1977. Washington, 
D.C., McKinsey & Co., Inc.: p. 7. 

10 Congressional analytic and information support: exhibits. A presentation before the Policy Group on 
Information and Computers, U.S. House of Representatives, dated Jan. 31, 1977. Washington, D.C., 
McKinsey & Co., Inc. [exhibit 7]. 

11 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on House Administration. Providing funds for the expenses of the 
House Information Systems of the Committee on House Administration, op. cit., p. 4. 

12 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on House Administration. Library of Congress information resources 
and services for the U.S. House of Representatives. A report prepared for the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on 
Computers of the Committee on House Administration. 94th Congress, 2d session, Apr. 27, 1976. Washington, 
D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1976. Table G3, p. 105-106. 



28 

"batch" mode, often in the off -hours when other demands on the cen- 
tral processing units are less. Increasingly, however, the teleprocessing 
capability of the computer is called upon, as witnessed by the fact 
that the Library of Congress computer alone now supports more than 
700 terminal devices. 13 

As noted earlier, one of the primary functions of the Policy Coordi- 
nation Group is to coordinate unilateral efforts in known areas of 
common interest. If, for example, developmental work is underway 
to support Members of the House as they deal with constituent re- 
quests for assistance — the pilot Member office support system (MOSS) 
was undertaken by HIS in 1976 — then this should be compared to the 
Senate's Correspondence Management System (CMS). Transferability 
of lessons learned about file creation, technology employed, and options 
for retrieval does not just happen, and this is where the PCG role can 
be critical. 

POLICY COORDINATION GROUP MODE OF OPERATION 

The structure and functioning procedures of the Policy Coordination 
Group are relatively straightforward. The PCG is comprised of one 
principal and one alternate each from the three lead organizations; the 
individuals designated to serve in these positions are: 

U.S. Senate — John K. Swearingen (principal), Anthony L. 
Harvey (alternate) 

U.S. House of Representatives — Boyd L. Alexander (principal), 
Franklin S. Reeder (alternate) 

Congressional Research Service — Robert L. Chartrand 
(principal), James R. Price (alternate) 

The chairmanship of the PCG shall rotate every six months; the 
initial chairman will be Robert L. Chartrand (CRS). The permanent 
secretariat for the PCG will be situated in the CRS Information 
Sciences Section of the Science Policy Research Division. 

At the end of each quarter, commencing October 1, 1977, an over- 
view report highlighting the significant activities of the Policy Co- 
ordination Group will be prepared for review by the chairmen of the 
Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the Committee 
on House Administration. 

In accordance with guidance contained in the letter proposing estab- 
lishment of the Policy Coordination Group (formerly the Joint Work- 
ing Group), and subsequently approved by the authorizing agents, 14 
the actual work of the PCG will be performed through specially created 
Task Forces. As each Task Force is formed with representation from 
all appropriate legislative branch groups, that cadre will prepare a 
recommended scope of action — noting precise tasks, resources required, 
and the nature and timing of specific products — for review and 
approval by the PCG management. 

Upon completion of these initial "scoping" reports by the nine task 
forces, a "Short-Term Work Plan" will be prepared that projects the 
major action steps in fulfillmentfpf stipulated near-term objectives. 

13 Computer service center has first million-transaction month. In Library of Congress information 
bulletin, v. 36, no. 21, May 27, 1977.: p. 346. 

" Separate letters from Gilbert Gude to Hon. Howard W. Cannon and Hon. Frank Thompson, Jr. 
(both dated Apr. 27, 1977), op. cit., p. 2-3. 



29 

Careful attention will be given in this second PCG document to 
synchronizing the activation of the task forces and timing the release 
of their various studies and reports so that the benefit to the Congress 
is maximized. Upon completion of this "Short-Term Work Plan," 
authorization to proceed will be requested of the Senate Committee 
on Rules and Administration and the Committee on House Adminis- 
tration. 

The third projected PCG document, a "Lon^-Range Concept for 
Systems Development," will not be initiated until the nine task forces 
are underway and addressing the identified near-term objectives. 
The emphasis in this longer-term perception of legislative information 
systems development will be on establishing those major goals which 
reflect the discernible needs of the Congress within a 5-year time- 
frame. 

Thus, the Policy Coordination Group, through its series of three 
initial documents, will exercise its multiple roles of coordinating, 
monitoring, and selectively encouraging the development of technol- 
ogy-supported information resources and services for the Congress. 
In this way, its service role will help ensure that the information 
problem and its solution are not viewed as existing in isolated parts, 
but as a whole. 
June 17, 1977. 

Robert L. Chartrand. 

Boyd L. Alexander. 

John K. Swearingex. 

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